Unilever profit climbs 39% in quarter

by Staff
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PARIS — Net profit at Unilever P.L.C. in the second quarter ended June 30 totaled €1,154 million ($1,527 million), up 39% from the same quarter of the previous year. Sales also were stronger, rising 12% to €11,752 million ($15,545 million).

“We have delivered another quarter of robust volume growth with improved volume market shares in all of our regions,” said Paul Polman, chief executive officer. “This is an encouraging result given the challenging economic and competitive environment and reflects the continuing investment behind our brands, better in-market execution, successful innovation and the extension of our brands into new markets. The consistent strong performance of our personal care business means that it became, in the quarter, our largest category.

“We continue to operate under the assumption of slow economic growth, particularly in developed markets where consumer confidence remains fragile. We do not expect competitive pressures to ease, and our ability to increase prices will remain constrained despite rising commodity costs in the second half. We still expect underlying price growth to turn positive towards the end of the year.”

For the six months, the company had net profit of €2,209 million ($2,922 million), up 35% from the same period of the previous year. Sales during the period rose 10% to €21,895 million ($28,965 million).

“Our priority remains to drive profitable volume growth and strong cash flow along with steady and sustainable improvement in operating margin for the year as a whole,” Mr. Polman said.

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